One of our favorite getaways in England is to the Yorkshire area. York is only a 2 hour train ride from London, located in northeast England. This ancient walled city was founded by the Romans who built the city wall fortifications. The iconic 13th-century Gothic cathedral, York Minster, dominates the skyline.
York’s well-preserved historic buildings, castle sites, Gothic cathedral, medieval guildhalls, ancient churches and stone walls are over 1,000 years old. One of England’s oldest towns offers an array of wonder with its world-class museums, riverside walks and charming historic streets with shops and cafes.
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Walk the City Walls: Take 2 hours to walk the full length of York’s city walls that continue on both sides of the River Ouse. Check out the exhibition at Monk Bar gate that highlights life in the 15th-century with Plantagenet King Richard III.
Shambles Market: Stroll through the historic area of town and shop at Shambles Market. Wander the narrow alleyways with 14th century timber-framed buildings. Take a rest, and order a pint at the Ye Old Shambles Tavern.
Clifford’s Tower: Climb up to Clifford’s Tower for panoramic views of the town and beyond.
Marvel at the York Minster: Look closely at the medieval stained-glass windows, stone buttresses, artefacts and bell towers. Take a tour to learn about its Christian history, and walk into the underground chambers. Don’t Miss! Take the 275 steps up the central tower to see the views of the town.
Take a sunset cruise down the Ouse: Cruise down York’s River, and see the Millennium Bridge and Clifford’s Tower. Or walk along the riverside routes.
Stop for afternoon tea at Betty’s: This local tea-and-cake institution is a must! The ambience with an art deco interior, curved windows and ornate mirrors is the icing on the cake.
Castle Howard: Some of you might recognize this castle from a scene out of Bridgerton series. Castle Howard is a stately home in North Yorkshire, located 15 miles north of York. It is a private residence that is open to the public for tours. It’s the home of the Carlisle branch of the Howard family for more than 300 years. Spend a day here wandering through the landscaped gardens and woodlands, take a tour to see the main halls and ornate interiors.
Grantley Hall: This hidden jewel is found in the Yorkshire Dales, offering 47 exquisite bedrooms, four indulgent restaurants, including Michelin-starred Shaun Rankin at Grantley Hall, and five stunning bars.
We want to stay here 1-2 nights and stay here! Walk to Fountain Abbey, visit Ripon Cathedral, escape to tranquility in the Three Graces Spa or experience state-of-the-art facilities in the ELITE Luxury Gym.
Whitby: Visit the quaint seaside town not far from York that overlooks the North Sea. Check out the Gothic Whitby Abbey was Bram Stoker’s inspiration for “Dracula”, walk 199 steps to the Church of St. Mary, discover the Captain Cook Memorial Museum. Before leaving, stop at West Cliff Beach to see the picturesque row of beach huts.
Rievaulx Abbey: See the ruins of this abbey from 1132 in the secluded North York Moors Valley.
Newby Hall: Visit one of England’s finest country homes in North Yorkshire, not far from Ripon.
Special Events & Festivals
The Great Yorkshire Show: The Great Yorkshire Show is England’s premier agricultural event that takes place at the Great Yorkshire Showground in Harrogate annually.
During this 3-day event, there are several activities from sheep shearing to show jumping, art shows, displays of woodcraft, cheese, rabbits and hives & honey.
Some of the best animals in the country will be competing – pigs, goats, hounds, cows, cattle…with titles and awards that include best of British in the Beef Shorthorn Cattle and Bleu Du Maine Sheep, Best Pig in Show, Supreme Sheep and Blythewood Beef Pairs. There’s even a Grand Cattle Parade and performance by the Atkinson Action Horses with stunts and tricks that amaze the crowd.
STAY & DINE
The Grand York: We stayed at this 5-star luxury hotel during our brief trip to Yorkshire. The rooms are spacious and comfortable. The service is excellent and staff goes the extra mile for guests. Centrally located to the York city walls, and only a 5 mins walk to town.
There’s an award-winning cookery school and indulgent spa to our wonderful array of food and beverage outlets, the hotel offers indulgence for all. As one of the best luxury hotels in York, when visiting, guests are guaranteed to experience ultimate elegance. Whether staying in one of our exquisitely designed suites which provide the perfect setting for a little extra luxury and space, or one of our fantastic rooms which are spacious yet stylish, you are guaranteed to be looked after at York’s best address.
Check out their staycation packages that allow guests to explore York and all it has to offer. Enjoy the comforting surroundings of The Grand whilst dining in The Rise and enjoying the perfect Yorkshire breakfast. Explore hotel experiences from the Gourmet Package to the ultimate celebration break.
The Principal: This hotel is just steps from the train station, an ideal base from which to discover the historic city of York. We hope to stay here on our next visit to York!
HOW TO GET THERE
We flew IcelandAir to London, via Reykavik.
Then took the train from London’s King’s Cross Station to York – only ~2 hours by train.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: Global Adventuress thanks those mentioned in this article for hosting us during our stay.